Opinion: Preventing School Shootings


Alyssa Christian


No one can protest the fact that there is a major problem with the continuous rise of school shootings in the United States. This needs to change, and for this change to happen, there needs to be action.

Politicians all over are talking about different things that need to happen to fix the horrifying issue that is scaring kids to come to school, but there is little action taking place.

¨The idea or possibility of a school shooting has been scary and in my mind since Sandy Hook, and with how common they have become there’s a point where new ones can´t make school scarier. If something is going to happen, it will happen, not much we can do,¨ junior True Chin-Parker said.

Students should not be worried about the possibility of a school shooting. They should be focused on their academics, extracurricular and the social aspects of school as well. The fact that students are looking at this as a fact of life and not something that can necessarily be changed is a problem that the democratic and republican party alike need to come together to fix.

There are several different viewpoints on this matter, but in my opinion, I believe that there needs to be much tighter regulations on who can or cannot get their hands on guns.

More specifically, there need to be strong background checks that inhibit those who fail from obtaining a weapon of any kind.

Obviously, there is a problem with the way these checks are conducted due to the fact that Nikolas Cruz, the shooter at the horrific Parkland, Florida shooting, was able to buy a weapon.

Throughout his life, there were a multitude of red flags that arose. One includes the statement he made on his YouTube channel saying that he wanted ¨to be a professional school shooter.”

There is absolutely no reason why this person should have been sold a gun of any sort, especially not an AR-15 rifle. Although this gun is not classified as an assault rifle, it still functions as a semi-automatic weapon.

The Firearms Industry Trade Association corrects the statements claiming that it is an automatic weapon, saying that ¨AR-15-style rifles look like military rifles, such as the M16, but function like other semi-automatic civilian sporting firearms, firing only one round with each pull of the trigger.”

However, they go on to state that these people can only get ahold of the weapon ¨provided the purchaser passes the mandatory FBI background check required for all retail firearm purchasers.¨  If this is the case, why was Cruz able to go in and legally buy a gun in Feb. 2017?

This is because he had no criminal record at that time. Despite the fact that he had severe mental illnesses, he still was able to obtain one.

According to USA Today, ¨gun buyers are seldom turned down because of mental illness.¨ The article goes on to state that from 1998 to 2014, 16,999 people were rejected by the FBI background check, approximately 1.4% of the 1.2 million background checks that resulted in a denial.

Eliminating the option for people with severe mental illnesses that could potentially harm themselves or others from obtaining a weapon of any kind could eliminate many of the problems with school shootings in today’s world.

Trump recognizes this, stating at a meeting addressing the governors, ¨we´re going to be talking seriously about opening mental health institutions.¨

By re-implementing mental institutions in the United States, it would provide an ¨intermediate ground¨ where people who have serious mental health issues that could serve as a risk to themselves or to others can be helped.

However, in order for this to happen, people need to recognize the fact that people who are battling issues with mental health and could potentially harm others should not have the option of buying a gun.

If people are willing to come together in order to help those who are mentally ill get the assistance they need, some of these problems will cease to exist.

I understand that gun control is a difficult subject to find a middle ground on, but the political parties need to get their act together and not be so divided on the idea of who is red and who is blue. They need to focus on coming to the aid of the public in order to prevent these horrific events from continuing to occur. Action has to take place and changes have to be made.